Before Bridgerton, there was, of course, Downton Abbey, the period drama that bewitched global audiences, and though the two shows are set a century apart, the similarities are hard to miss. That said, there are also some key differences in how courtship worked in each society. Dating in the Bridgerton-verse is simply too much work, while Downton Abbey did have some of the liberties of its time.
But if ever there was a crossover between these two period dramas, who’d date who? Could the icy, chic “It Girl” Lady Mary find a suitor? Would she be more attracted to Simon or a Bridgerton brother? How hard would Daphne have to work to sustain a relationship with someone from the Crawley family?
10Would Not Work: Mary And Simon
They are far too alike to be compatible and though they may make for good friends, Lady Mary and Simon Basset would never work out as a romantic match. Mary may have keen emotional depth, but she is quite icy when it comes to dealing with the world. She is also quite snobbish and self-serving and definitely out of touch with several aspects of the real world.
Simon is worldly and yet he has a rather cold understanding of life. He can be charming when it suits him but he is not the kind of person who can be giving in a relationship. These two would make for quite a disastrous couple.
9Would Work: Rose And Anthony
Both Anthony Bridgerton and Lady Rose are driven primarily by emotion. They can be gregarious, but they also are too sensitive. And while a couple really needs a balance between their dispositions, especially in old school societies, if these two fell in love, they’d be inseparable.
Anthony may come across as hot-headed and quick to draw conclusions, but deep down he’s a gentle soul and he is always looking for the good in others. Rose, too, is impossibly sunny and a go-getter to say the least and she can easily communicate her feelings, just like Anthony.
8Would Not Work: Eloise And Matthew
There simply would be too many unresolved issues between the two if they ever got together. Both Eloise Bridgerton and Matthew Crawley are highly intelligent beings who look down upon mainstream society. They also take a lot of time to warm up to someone.
While they may really enjoy each other’s company, and even turn out to be each other’s biggest allies, as lovers, they’d never work out. Neither of the two would know how to put their hang-ups and cerebral dilemmas aside and lead the charge in a difficult conversation.
7Would Work: Tom And Benedict
Tom and Benedict simply have a lot in common. They are both driven by reason and think for themselves without being too influenced by the culture or people around them. Benedict stands out among his peers, owing to his keen artistic nature and kindness, while Tom is excpetionally well-read and takes a lot of pride in his heritage and political convictions, so one could see why the two would be drawn to each other.
Benedict is giving, loyal and has a unique understanding of the world, which allows him to love without difficulty. He is also someone who looks for the good in people. He is exactly the kind of partner Tom could find some balance and stability with.
6Would Not Work: Marina And Tom
Tom Branson is one of the most intriguing characters to have appeared on Downton Abbey. Though he may come off as a bit snobbish or even holier-than-thou, he’s the most worldly person in the Crawley social circle. He takes his heritage and his convictions very seriously and integrity means a great deal to him.
Marina, on the other hand, though resourceful, can be a bit too self-serving. She believes in forging her own way and can come off as a bit selfish. Tom is simply too much of an idealist to ever be in a mutually respectful, loving relationship with Marina and their priorities in the world are simply too different.
5Would Work: Eloise And Henry
Eloise Bridgerton and Henry Talbot could make for a really successful match. Eloise is freedom-loving, witty, well-read and fierce and she would probably appreciate the fact that Henry is not an elitist like most people around her. He’s grounded, has a cosmopolitan worldview and is also a great listener.
Henry connects with complex women who have a mind of their own, like Mary, who he eventually marries in Downton Abbey. Most importantly, both Eloise and Henry are really conscious of the flaws in their social system and their own privilege.
4Would Not Work: Penelope And Tom
One could see Tom falling for someone like Penelope Featherington, who’s brave enough to blitz an entire social structure so eloquently and scathingly. However, it has to be noted that Penelope is not that brave. After all, she’s the Regency-equivalent of Gossip Girl and it’s well-known that Gossip Girl was a rather self-serving persona.
To be brief, Penelope isn’t exactly courageous or passionate enough to go against the society she has been raised in. Her mode of challenging the norms are veiled and anonymous, something Tom would not connect to or even respect, once he realizes Penelope’s secret.
3Would Work: Matthew And Simon
Both Matthew and Simon are unconventional and original thinkers and hate being told what to do. Simon has always been depicted as someone rather icy and reason-driven and Matthew too, with his similar approach to life, especially vis-a-vis his romantic pursuits.
However, Simon hates being challenged on any level, whereas Matthew thrives under pressure since he’s somewhat of a rebel. Someone like Simon could find Matthew very fascinating, especially because despite being quite adamant and self-possessed, Matthew’s needs are quite simplistic. Plus, they are both selective about who they open up to and since these two seek the same sort of companionship, their relationship may just work out.
2Would Not Work: Mary And Anthony
It’s safe to say Mary would be fed up with Anthony’s antics pretty fast. These two have really different world views but share some traits, which may make them really compatible as friends, especially since they seldom listen to anyone but themselves.
It is their individualism that defines them. However, it is important to be open to communication in a relationship and neither of them is a very good listener. As well, neither of them possess the perseverance needed to see a crisis through. Anthony could be yelling his lungs out and Mary would simply leave the room or the mansion.
1Would Work: Penelope And Mary
Broadly speaking, Penelope seeks someone who appreciates her for who she is and also understands her angst against her own society; Lady Mary would be a terrific match for her on many levels. The two women do share the same kind of ideals and believe in ‘live and let live.’
They also aspire for the same sort of companionship – one that’s liberating and acknowledges self-worth – and they both have often felt misunderstood by their loved ones. Penelope is definitely more giving than Mary, and Mary, on the other hand, exudes the self-reliance that Penelope could use. One could see why a relationship between them has great potential.